Super Mario's Wacky Worlds
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|Super Mario's Wacky Worlds|
|Publisher(s)||Philips Interactive Media|
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds is a cancelled Mario platform video game in development by NovaLogic for the Philips CD-i system. The game was designed to be a sequel to Super Mario World, a Super NES game released in 1990, that took advantage of the system's hardware. While an early prototype of the game received positive feedback from Nintendo , the game was cancelled due to the declining sales of the Philips CD-i system.
Wacky Worlds emerged in a time in which its developing company, NovaLogic, was hoping to be hired by Nintendo. Then helping Nintendo with the Super NES CD-ROM Adapter, Philips had the rights to make games with Nintendo characters for their CD-i. It was suggested to NovaLogic by a Nintendo sales executive that simple Super NES games could play on the CD-i, sparking the idea of putting "a popular Nintendo game, Super Mario World, onto a CD-i disc", making the project an intended sequel or follow-up to the launch title exclusively for the CD-i hardware.
Developers Silas Warner and John Brooks were drafted as the game's designers, and worked 24 hours a day for two weeks on the game, finishing only a part of one level to present to Nintendo. Their meeting with the Nintendo developers came at 8:00 AM on a Friday morning, and they had their short part of the game on a disc four hours before this.
Nintendo was very much impressed at the two men's job, but because of poor CD-i sales was forced to cancel the game. This ended the CD-i career of Warner, who had expected Nintendo's exact reaction; however, other developers such as lead artist Nina Stanley stayed with the project.
Though the developers were highly enthusiastic about making a traditional Mario game (partly to clear their reputation surrounding Nintendo-licensed characters), NovaLogic hoped to use as little money as possible on the project, which was mostly executed with the intentions of making a small amount of profit while games such as those of the Comanche series had focus.
Version 0.11, the game's final prototype (a pre-alpha), was finished on March 3, 1993 after the project had about a year of work. Approximately 80% of the game's art, 95% of its design, and around 30% of its code was finished.
Three prototypes are in circulation, one of which was sold on the online auction website eBay for $1,000. A certain prototype, perhaps the same one as that sold on eBay, has been leaked to the internet in ISO form and can be played both on emulators and as a burnt disc on an actual CD-i.
As it is a pre-alpha, the prototype is rather limited; Mario can only walk both ways and jump, and no powerups exist. He cannot slide or swim, but it would appear that these abilities would have been implemented had development continued. Enemies are also not programmed correctly; they disappear when Mario ends up above them, suggesting incomplete stomping attempts. Enemies also cannot harm Mario, and are stopped in their tracks if touched, even if it means ending up floating in the air. Mario also can't die when he falls into a pit. Instead, he floats on it.
Level progression is not explicit, but can be pieced together by the selectable stages. Most worlds have two or three levels, the first of which end with Warp Pipes (or similar things, such as the Trojan Horse in Greek 1), whereas the last most often has a stylized "M" object holding tape, presumably a similar aspect to the Giant Gates from Super Mario World, but ending worlds instead of levels. However, the mysterious "M"s may serve another purpose, as one is found alongside a Warp Pipe in Igloo 1; perhaps they would have signified bonuses.
Accurately capturing the sprites of Super Mario World was difficult for the Wacky Worlds development team, since the CD-i had a different sprite-making style than that of the SNES. To create their characters, they actually pirated their designs from Super Mario World, producing Mario, as well as several Koopa Troopa variations based on the Super Mario World sprite: Greek Koopas clad in tunics and fig leaves, knight Koopas with feathered helmets, blue Eskimo Koopas in parkas, and dark vampire Koopas with capes and fangs. The development team also sprited an enemy of their own creation, a walrus sprited true to the Super Mario World style.
The various backgrounds of the game were all hand-drawn by the development team; in fact, they were indeed based on paper drawings. Of related note is that the game's levels are based on real-world Earth locations.
The prototype contains music taken from Super Mario World and no sound effects besides the jumping sound. This seems to be an early placeholder, as the idea for the final game was to take advantage of the disc format and use a flexible audio range rather than port unimproved synthesised sound.
- Super Mario's Wacky Worlds on TMK.net
- Super Mario's Wacky Worlds Technical Info & dumped by Matt Henzel on VideoGameObsession.com